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Italy battles hundreds of wildfires

Italy's emergency services continued to battle wildfires across the country on Thursday.

Rome, 30 July 2021 (dpa/MIA) – Italy’s emergency services continued to battle wildfires across the country on Thursday.

The regions sent 34 requests for support from firefighting aircraft, the country’s civil defence authority said Thursday evening.

The requests came from Calabria in the south; Lazio, where the capital Rome is located; and the islands of Sicily and Sardinia.

The defence authority was unable to send planes to three of the fires, so firefighters had to continue to battle the flames from the ground.

Most of the fires started due to careless or malicious behaviour, the authority said.

The fire service said they were attending 240 bush fires nationwide.

Fires have been raging on the resort island of Sardinia since last weekend, causing widespread destruction and millions of dollars’ worth of damage.

On Thursday evening, the island’s fire service reported new blazes in the province of Oristano on the island’s west.

In southern Italy, the fire service reported dozens of operations.

A tent camp was evacuated in Scanzano Jonico in the Basilicata region.

In Sicily’s Agrigento, firefighters faced a five-kilometre fire front.

Drought, heat and some strong winds in recent days have helped the flames to spread.

Northern Italy has been faced with a completely different weather issue, as heavy rainfall caused flooding and landslides.

The provinces around Lake Como in Lombardy were hard hit.

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